The bulb report

For each of the past six weeks, I have picked up a four-pack of 60-watt incandescent bulbs at the grocery store, which gives me a reserve of 24. (Actually 26, since I had two on hand at the beginning.) As of the first of January, these small and inoffensive creatures have been marked for extinction by the haters in Washington, so I made a point of stopping by the appropriate shelf at the store this afternoon.

The shelf was about four packages short of full, which is about where it always has been, so it’s too early to make any sort of prediction. (Most of them were branded Philips, with a single row of Westinghouse.) If, as has been suggested, the industry Big Boys themselves pushed for the extinction of incandescents, well, they haven’t made a great deal of headway at getting the spendy stuff into this store: there were plenty of off-brand CFLs going for about a third less than the GE-branded twirlers, and LEDs were conspicuous by their absence. Then again, this particular store draws mainly lower-income customers, who are not likely to be looking for ten-dollar bulbs.

On hand: 26 60-watt incandescents; two 40-watt decorative (for the bathroom); two three-way, 30/70/100; one CFL. (In use: three decorative; three three-way; three CFLs; two LEDs; the rest are incandescents, except for the floods outside.)



  1. backwoods conservative »

    4 January 2014 · 7:05 pm

    I had been buying a few along the way, but the realization that these beloved bright ideas were headed for extinction made me get a bit more serious about stocking up. I went online and spent most of my disposable income this week (which isn’t much in Obama’s economy) on lightbulbs. I’m not going to give a count, but it will be a while before I run out, if I ever do. I won’t allow CFLs in my house. LEDs I might be okay with, but I intend to use incandescents for a long time.

  2. LeeAnn »

    4 January 2014 · 7:18 pm

    I’ve been hoarding them since I heard they were on death row. I have about a cupboard-full now, and of course plans continue to stock more and more and more….. I’m not really good with moderation.

  3. backwoods conservative »

    4 January 2014 · 7:39 pm

    I’m not good at moderation either. A friend pointed out that I’m the kind of person who goes all out on everything he does. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. I became a top notch production worker by running wide open all the time. I also became an alcoholic, sober for 16 years now. I’m probably buying more bulbs than I’ll ever need, but I’d rather do that than run out. I may add a few more of the decorative type bulbs and some more 3-ways to my collection.

    I’ve been keeping an eye on Amazon to see how much the prices go up. Some of them are soaring, but some sellers are still keeping to a reasonable price. I’m sure that will change as the supply dwindles.

  4. ms7168 »

    4 January 2014 · 10:14 pm

    I replaced every bulb in my home with CFL’s several years ago. My electric bill did not go down one cent. My light bulb bill however skyrocketed because it was then I discovered that if you wanted them to be BRIGHT and to come up to full brightness immediately you had to spend bigger bucks. Also this garbage about them lasting longer I do have a few originals that are still in service but most of them have been replaced once and one in particular has been replaced four or five times. That would be the one under the vent hood above the stove.

  5. CGHill »

    5 January 2014 · 12:04 am

    The two CFLs out in the garage have made it to their third year. Then again, they get probably less than six hours’ use in a week. (CFLs are not recommended for the garage door opener, because of shaking, then breaking, but I’ve never changed whatever bulb is actually in there.)

    Oddly, the third CFL is at bedside; it projects better for reading than does any 60-watt incandescent I’ve tried. I think this may be a function of the lampshade, which is a weird black cylinder.

  6. Roger Green »

    5 January 2014 · 6:14 am

    In this I TOTALLY agree. I find the new bulbs dimmer at the start, and DON’T last as long for the cost. AND I don’t know how to dispose of them. I’ll stock up TODAY on the ones that actually look like light bulbs.

  7. backwoods conservative »

    5 January 2014 · 6:53 am

    What is recommended for garage doors is rough service bulbs. They have more supports for the filament and therefore do not break so easily. The bulb itself is often made stronger to be less prone to breakage. The information I have is that rough service bulbs are exempt from the new standards and will still be allowed. They are more expensive, but I hear they hold up very well.

  8. McGehee »

    5 January 2014 · 9:04 am

    Mother-in-Law of Slog is convinced that a three-way lamp deserves to be fitted with three-way bulbs. I don’t know what she’s going to do when those disappear, since I’m not aware of either CFL or LED replacements.

  9. CGHill »

    5 January 2014 · 11:56 am

    Three-way bulbs, it’s my understanding, were given a stay of execution.

  10. backwoods conservative »

    5 January 2014 · 2:03 pm

    It appears you are correct, sir.

  11. Lynn »

    5 January 2014 · 3:03 pm

    We started using CFL’s years ago and have started buying LEDs just last year. We have a lamp with a 3-way CFL, which, just like an incandescent 3-way quickly burns out only halfway so it’s only a one way that takes two clicks to turn on or off.

    We have one fixture in the dining area that requires four clear incandescent bulbs for decorative reasons. I will use clear appliance bulbs in it if I have to.

  12. Donna B. »

    5 January 2014 · 11:18 pm

    I’ve hated 3-way bulbs for 40 years. I hate all the little squirrelly swirly CFLs. I love my big kitchen fixture with 4 florescent tubes in it. The rest of the house is now LEDs except for the decorative bulbs over the bathroom mirror and the porch light which is in a ceiling fan. Those fixtures take bulbs with smaller screw-in thingies (<–technical term) and I haven't even looked for LED replacements.

    I didn't go LED to lower my electric bill. I'm hoping they live up to the longevity claims because changing bulbs is a problem since neither my husband nor I have the balance necessary to use a step stool now.

    Also, I won't go into details about just how low our electric bill is because I don't want to annoy people. We are not conservative in our usage because it just doesn't make that much difference. It goes up — way up — in the summertime because we like being cool, but is still low. That's due to no west facing windows and massive insulation.

    The only time we noticed a drop in our electric bill was when we replaced the 25 year old AC. It was… inefficient.

    Our gas bill this month is going to be a whopper. We're old and just can't seem to get and stay warm this winter.

    For the average home, lighting was never the cause of energy consumption to the level that required Congress to act. Such a stupid bill.

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